VC Fund Fil Rouge Capital to Invest into 300 Croatian Companies

Total Croatia News

The Croatian startup scene has been given a new opportunity since Fil Rouge Capital entered the market.

Marko Repecki writes for about the new venture capital fund which has found its way to the Croatian market this summer, as he spoke to Stevica Kuharski, one of the partners in the fund. Stevica is a well-known fixture on the Croatian startup scene, having been a serial entrepreneur on his own (Locodels is probably his most successful project thus far), and he’s made his way to “the other side”, now helping find and distribute the funds provided to the Croatian companies.

Mr Kuharski explains that the Fil Rouge Capital fund is mostly supported by the European structural and investment funds (ESIF) with over 32 million euro, while the total value of the fund is 45 million euro. It took less than a year between the public tender for the management of the fund and when it started working in earnest. They cover all of the phases of the development of a startup, from the early stages of an idea, all the way to those who already have a product or a service ready. Within the next four years, they plan to invest into 250 to 300 companies. 9 million euro will go to the companies that are early-stage startups, while the rest of it will go to more developed ideas.

Early-stage startups will be able to get 10 thousand euro, and you can apply at any time. If the fund decides to invest in such companies, they get 10 per cent of the ownership.

The teams that claim they have a “minimum viable product” can receive an investment in the amount of 25 to 50 thousand euro through the acceleration program for which they must apply. The first group was selected in early September, and they’ve been awarded 50,000 euros each. Next round will happen in March, and if you want to apply, you should do it before the end of the year. For bigger investments, the ownership given to the fund will be in the 6 to 8 percent range. 

Fil Rouge Capital fund is not specialised, they are willing to consider any Croatian startups, but they really need to be Croatian – meaning they need to be registered in Croatia and most their employees need to be local. Founders can be (and are!) from all over the world, but they need to recognize that Croatia is an excellent market to try an idea or a product out to see if they work. In addition to funds, the VC fund provides full support through mentorship, contacts, networking, helping open new markets, whatever it takes. The people in the fund have good contacts with over 50 institutional investors and numerous private investors, all of which might help the startups to secure the investments in the following investment rounds.

Stevica Kuharski also highlights that nobody should be afraid of any type of control the fund might exert over them, explaining that they simply don’t have enough people to do that. He also adds that they are willing to invest 10 thousand euro into an idea, a single piece of paper, to get 10 per cent of the ownership – which means that they’ve valued the idea itself at one hundred thousand euro!


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